Mydalr happened to be a small but prospering village that resided in the middle of an abundant forest. Many townsfolk walked in droves, whether they were by themselves, paired off, or in groups; everything had been meticulously detailed as if this were an actual village.
Eugene, Alex, and Magnolia entered the town. They half-expected the guardsmen to turn to them with the typical “Welcome to Mydalr…” speech but never received one.
“So—this is Mydalr?” Magnolia inquired as if to question the schematics of the game. The guardsmen who she addressed turned to them with a quizzical look.
“..Yes? It’s the only other small village in this region, beside the motherland of course.” The guard looked at all three of them before shaking his head. The helmet that surrounded his cranium lightly rocked with the motion. “Are you travelers? There were a few more travelers that came not too long ago.”
She perked up, “Oh! Maybe one of them was Cas!” The name, when said aloud, caused the man to scrunch his eyebrows.
“That’s… a rather peculiar name.” He made no signs to hide his disgust. “Weird folk.” He finally muttered and turned back to his post. It seemed to them that he wanted nothing more than to end their conversation.
Eugene and Alex gave each other a side glance before turning to the village. It was true that it was small. Many of the buildings were made of dark brown logs from trees, and the shingled roofs slanted like an acute triangle. The angle indicated that they receive plenty of snow when the winter season arrives. The greenery around the buildings were vast, with an abundance of grass, what seemed to be an acre of trees all around, and manmade walkways that looks like dirt footpaths. Pavement and cement were not things of this time or realm apparently.
Signage posted outside of the buildings indicated what they were. There happened to be a building with a sign with a potion in front of it. Right next door, another building had a placard that hung on the wall with the symbol of a sword and shield, a few buildings down to the left happened to be a building labeled with a bracelet.
The largest building of the town happened to be at the tail end, it didn’t have a sign to label it but the group could only assume it to be the mayor’s or leader’s residence.
The building that caught their attention the most happened to be the one with the drink, food, and large lettered INN sign on the door. Even from the outside, they could hear the loud boisterous drinking and hollering from inside. Eugene gestured for them to head over to the Inn.
Magnolia could only continue to glance back at what she assumed was a non-playable character or NPC. “I don’t mean to be that obvious person…” She started and Alex briefly stopped.
“But you are obvious.” This remark caused Eugene to chuckle.
“Shut up.” She tried to hide her embarrassment by just continuing her train of thought. “I mean, don’t NPCs have specific sayings like: ‘Welcome to Mydalr!’ or ‘I took an arrow to the knee!’ type of thing?”
Alex snorted at her comment while Eugene thought more into the recent events. He stroked his cheek dragon scales before shaking his head. “I don’t think we should be worried about their personalities at the moment. We should be more concerned with how we should exit the game without…” He paused and decided to just let it go. He didn’t want to think of the other alternative for the game to end.
Although both his party members seemed to catch what he didn’t want to indicate aloud.
“They reacted weirdly to the usernames.” Alex commented. They had made it to the Inn and he was the first to open the door. The smell of food wafted into their olfactory system as they entered.
“Perhaps we should use aliases then?” Magnolia offered and both the boys gave her a sardonic expression.
“Yes, use an alias for the alias we already use…. Smooth Mags.” Alex replied before shifting attention to his dragonborne friend. “Should we go by usernames ‘Gene?”
He seemed to be accepting of this option. “I just don’t want to bring any more attention to us.” Eugene replied and stared at the counter ahead. There was a half-bar, half-inn set up where several townsfolk were drinking ale and eating the local cuisine. Their entrance into the bar made some heads turn to stare.
New faces must be something that hardly happens in this region. The ruby scaled male thought before he recognized the back of a certain avatar. She was sitting with her head held high, and she was holding something similar to a tank of ale. Eugene walked over to the girl and stopped to peer over her shoulder.
He remarked at the sight of plates. “You’ve been busy looking for that first quest, huh?”
The one whom he talked to was none other than Cassidy. She wiped her face with a handkerchief before turning to see both Magnolia and Eugene there too. She narrowed her eyes to the onyx-eyed dragonborne before lifting her wrist console up for her to see. Their chat dialogue from before lit up and all of Magnolia’s commentary and screaming were shown.
“I couldn’t concentrate on finding information when Mags kept messaging Ugh, Ows, why me’s, and ahhh.” She mimicked Mags’ conversation verbatim with great enthusiasm. “I actually thought you were dying, good job on the delivery!”
Magnolia beamed at the praise. “I aim to please!”
Alex just flicked Magnolia on the forehead with his finger before turning back to the bar. “Ow!”
“Well, since we’re all here.” Alex grabbed a stool nearby that wasn’t taken. “We should get some food to gather our strength.” He motioned to his wrist console and everyone looked down to their own. Apparently on the main menu of the console showed a little symbol flashing red. It looked like food to them.
“I believe this is the status of ‘hunger’, that’s why we are not feeling well. That must mean status effects are things we need to look out for in the future.” The brown-haired male quickly glanced over the short menu provided and sighed. “Beef stew. Beef sticks. Beef chili. I don’t suppose they have a hidden menu for vegetarians.”
Cassidy offered him a small smile, “I definitely recommend the beef chili. It’s quite emmaculate and flavorful!”
Eugene stared at his friend before offering his own two cents. “I personally am partial to the beef stew.”
Feeling kharma biting him in the butt, Alex flushed, “You both know I’m vegetarian. How am I supposed to eat?”
Magnolia pulled her own chair forward, sitting adjacent to Alex at the bar. “I suppose dietary options from our era won’t pertain anymore.” She, too, had been vegetarian but she recently started it about a year ago.
“What are you going to eat Mags? Aren’t you in the same boat I’m in?” Alex hoped to gain an ally but soon realized that she wasn’t that much involved as he was.
“Eh…It’s just a game. What’s the worst that could happen?” She smiled, hoping to alleviate the situation.
“Constipation.” Cassidy and Eugene both spoke at the same time.
This caused the Male ranger with brown hair to grow red in the face. “Both of you shut up. Errrr…..Fine! It’s just computer pieces of data anyway!” He hastily looked over the menu while Eugene summoned the cook over with a taloned claw.
“Two beef stews.” He ordered.
“And I’ll have an order the Beef sticks!” Alex yelled over. The cook acknowledged the order, and got back to work.
“Want to bet if he’ll start to crave actual meat?” Cassidy said to Eugene, who immediately went to his console and found his money pouch. He materialized gold pieces from the wrist console.
“I bet a gold coin he’ll complain of stomach pains.”
“Hey!” Alex yelled at the two, while Magnolia remained silent. She happened to be perusing through her own menu console finding the tutorial guides. There were several listed on there that were listed as BRAND NEW. She popped open the menu and scrolled to see what they were. Shopping [Accessories], Battle [Earning Grade], Battle [Earning Money], Battle [Exploiting Weaknesses], Status Ailments, Cooking [Inn], Cooking [Gathering], and Inns [Sleeping] were all the new guides listed on the help menu page.
The cook came over with the trio’s food orders and placed them down on the counter. There was a slip of paper on the counter as well, which happened to be the bill. Eugene grabbed the bill before checking his money bag to see if he had enough.
She opened the status ailments page to read up on all of the ailments one could get. There were all the major and minor ailments that she happened to be familiar with.
“The status ailments seem to be the same like any other roleplay game.” The Half-elf said aloud, and the group gave her their undivided attention.
“Good for your Alex, constipation doesn’t seem to be an afflicted status you can receive.” Cassidy remarked coyly with a devilish smirk while Eugene chuckled.
At this point, Magnolia closed the menu, and opened the cooking tutorial to read about ways to procure food. One could either procure them through gathering ingredients and cooking them. The other guide talked about eating at inns whenever there happened to be one. There was a note of caution given on this page, as some lands may not have inns to make food.
“If you check the tutorial guide, there are tons of new pages added. It seems we may have to cook at some point.” Magnolia explained and was surprised when a bowl of beef stew was placed in front of her.
“Eat.” Eugene said, breaking her concentration on the guide.
Cassidy had already eaten, so Eugene made sure to order a bowl for her to eat.
“Uh—thank you?” She replied before the salty fragrance of seasoning and beef wafted into her nostrils. The lumps of carrots and beef in the broth mixture made her tongue start to salivate. The steam rose slightly above the curve of the bowl, and she could only stare in awe. Suddenly a small window popped up with a short description.
Stew made with beef and carrots, in a seasoned broth. Temporary added effect: Atk up 10% for one hour.
150 gold pieces
Alex also looked at his plate, with welts of meat slathered with thin cut slices of carrots, local veggies, and thick gravy. He grabbed his utensil and dug into the plate hoping it wouldn’t change his diet in the real world. “It’s only data!” He murmured into his third bite.
Eugene assumed that was Alex’s way to assuage his vegetarian heart.
“Wow! This is amazing!” the black haired druid exclaimed after several bites. She was surprised about the taste of the food. She thought it would be nothing more than bits of computer data.
“Well, after dinner, we could make our rounds around town again. We can split up, check things out, and meet back together at the main campgrounds.” Cassidy replied and took another drink of her tankard. “No one is to leave the village until we have a better idea on what our first main quest is.”
“Sounds good to me!” Magnolia replied, and Eugene sighed. He was more concerned with her consistent mood swings than her leaving the village. He remembered her on the edge of an anxiety attack just an hour prior, but now she was perky as his sister’s little corgi pup.
She seemed to have caught his look. “Wha?” She asked with her mouth partially full of beef and carrots. He rolled his eyes before turning back to his bowl. “Don’t talk with your mouth full, idiot.”